My impression of the Hellworms and their particularly anti-social brand of “rock” is that they must’ve spent their time banging on the walls with pots and pans while listening to Cheech and Chong’s “Earache My Eye.” Crowd Repellent is chock full of music that comes form all directions; sometimes it’s a blend of MC5 and free-form electronic jazz (“Wake Up Tomorrow”), sometimes it’s funky punk angst (“Zillionaire”), and sometimes it’s so far out in space, I don’t know how to pigeon-hole it (“Skull and Hashbrowns”). I think I know their secret, though. After listening to “Rat Brains on Crack,” an abusive little ditty about young scientists who are able to do what young scientists do (i.e., vivisection, etc.) without batting an eye, I determined that the Hellworms are a blues guitar band that wants to be Motorhead, only a Motorhead that rhymes. Proof is in “Master Manipulator”: “…Tony Iommi…I want my mommy/ Ronnie James Dio…O sole mio.” Is that not the stuff of a poetic genius? The majority of this quite interesting album contains songs in the key of “c” for “complaining.” Complaining about the “sellouts” in the music business, mediocre politicians, and has-been rockers. In between the rants are some dynamite instrumentals, however, making this album pretty interesting. I liken it to Rats of Unusual Size and Zen Guerrilla.
Alternative Tentacles, P.O. Box 419092, San Francisco, CA 94141